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Revealed: Grab Lorry Cost for Driveways –

How much does a Grab Lorry Cost in 2022?

What is the grab lorry cost for driveways and other house renovation waste material. Before we dive into that, let’s have a look at when a grab lorry is the best option to use.

When you have your driveway excavated or are working on a house renovation, a lot of waste can accumulate quickly.

Hiring a grab lorry truck can be a great solution if you want to remove driveway or house material waste. Especially when you have a big load at once or when access is tricky.

The handy mechenical arm of the grab lorry can sometimes be a great help when access is tight.

A grab lorry cost will vary according to how much waste is taken away and ease of access to your property.

For the majority of ‘dig outs‘ where removal of earth and/or concrete/tarmac is necessary grab lorries are the best way to go.

Skips are often simply too small for big projects and need even better access than grab lorries do.

On top of that, if you can’t place the hired skip entirely on private property, you will need to apply for a permit which is often for 1 to 2 weeks. The costs in London are on average £70, though this varies greatly. In the cheapest borough you are charged around £40 and in the most expensive borough around £135. Around the rest of the UK the average is lower – around £40 on average.


At the excavation of the driveway in the picture below, more than fifteen (!!!)  8 wheeler (18 ton) grab lorries were required to remove the waste! A skip can be found in the picture near the house…..just imagine how many of these you would need for this job!


 Grab Lorry Cost for this Dig Out!

Grab lorries are quick and often don’t take more than 30 minutes to remove a load from your property, especially when access is good. 

How much can a grab lorry take?

The maximum capacity of the largest 8 wheeler grab lorries is approximately 18 tons. A load of broken concrete is going to fill a lorry to its weight limit far quicker than soil. Therefore, more ‘grabs’ will be required and the grab lorry cost will increase.

Legal disposal reflects increases in grab lorry cost

Waste disposal regulations ensure that waste is recycled where possible.

It’s not only insane to simply dig up existing concrete to replace with more concrete (whether blocks or concrete) but also environmentally wrong.

In a perfect (and not to distant future) excavated concrete will be crushed on site and mixed with Type 1 aggregate for a new sub base. Now, that makes sense!

Unfortunately, until concrete crushing is compulsory and specified as a viable alternative to Type 1 aggregate – things will stay the same.

Tarmacadam presents a problem as this cannot be used in ‘landfill’ like concrete and soil can be. It is very important that tarmacadam is separated and disposed of in accordance with waste disposal regulations.

So, getting down to it….what are the total grab lorry costs?

The minimum price of a grab lorry pickin up a load is about £180.

The table below provides an approximate breakdown…


Grab Lorry Cost (Approximate varies with region of UK)

Type of Grab LorryLength (M)
Width (M)Height (M)Grab Reach (M)Load (M Sq)Load (Tonnes)Cost (Inert) £Cost (Mixed) £
4 Wheeler7.82.6
6 Wheeler8.22.6
8 Wheeler9.

Grab Lorry Sizes

As you can see in the table above, there are different size grab lorries that can be hired to pick up your driveway or demolision waste.

The 4 wheeler is the smallest truck which can take roughly 9 tonnes of material, while the 8 wheeler can take a whopping 16 to 18 tonnes.

The grab reach of a all grab lorries is about 2.6 metres, which means the lorry needs to have access to the rubbish relatively close. Having said that, they don’t need to be completely next to it, which is handy when access is harder.

In that case, it might be easier to have a smaller truck doing more trips as the lenght of the truck varies depending on how much load they can take. 

The 4 wheeler which takes about 6m² (depending on what needs removing) but is only 7.8 metres long. Compared to the 8 wheeler truck which can take around 13m² but is rougly 9.1 metres long, which can be too large especially on small roads with bends.

What access does a grab lorry need?

Grab lorries need to be close to the waste but with a grab reach of 2.6 metre, they can easily reach over a wall, fence or from a small distance. 

This makes a grab lorry again a better choice than skip hire, as closer access is needed for a skip when placed on the property. 

Which is cheaper skip or grab lorry? 

A grab lorry is often cheaper than a skip, and more suitable as well when excavating a driveway. Especially as the driveway will be dug out over one or two days. This means you will have a lot to collect in one go, which can be picked up by a grab lorry easily.  

A skip is worth getting when you are working on an area over a period of time. You can throw things in the skip without having to move it again.  

Clearing out your home comes to mind, when there might be lots of different shapes, sizes and items which you want to dispose off.

Do you need a permit for a skip?

If the skip is placed (completely) on private property you don’t need a permit. However, if it’s placed partly or completely outside of private property, you will need a permit. 

The cost for this vary. In London the average cost is about £70 (ranging from about £40 to £135 depending on the borough) while outside of London the cost on average is much lower, around £40 on average. 

Contact your local council to find out the correct price in your area and how long the permit is valid for.

Do you need a permit for a grab lorry?

You don’t need a permit to hire a grab lorry as the lorry visits your property, picks up the load and leaves again. As this is for a short period of time only, you won’t need a permit, regardless of how many trips the lorry needs to do.

How much can a grab lorry take? 

An empty 8 wheeler grab lorry weights around 14 to 16 tonnes. Considering the maximum mass of a grab lorry is 32 tonnes, that leaves roughly 16 to 18 tonnes of waste they can carry. That is quite a lot considering it’s the weight of the vehicle itself. It translates to roughly the equivalent of between 12 and 15 cubic metres depending on the material.

However you can also hire a smaller truck with a smaller carrier load. A 4 wheeler can take around 6m³ on average or about 14 tonnes. While a 6 wheeler can take roughly 10m³ or about 14 tonnes.

How does a grab lorry work? 

Grab lorry’s need to have easy access to the rubbish they need to transport. Therefore, they have a hydraulic arm and bucket which is attached to the truck. This arm can move sideways as well as up and down and is capable of scooping up large quantities of waste and rubbish in one go and moving this to the truck itself. 

Can a grab lorry dig? 

Grab lorry’s are not designed to dig. While they can scoop up and transport large quantities of waste which has been dug up from a driveway or patio area, a digger needs to be used to get the actual driveway or patio surface up, so it can be picked up by the grab lorry and exported to a waste site. 

Do grab lorries take turf? 

Grab lorries will normally pick up demolished building materials, including dug up driveways. So, think bricks, paving slabs, broken concrete etc. 

However, you cannot add turf, wood or soil to this. 

If you have turf which needs to be removed, call the grab lorry company and confirm they are willing to take the load as they often don’t accept it. 

What is inert waste?

Inert wastes are types of waste that are unreactive (biologically and chemically). This means that when inert waste is disposed of, it either takes an extremely long time to decompose or doesn’t decompose at all. Source

Examples of inert waste are

  • Concrete
  • Rubble
  • Sands
  • Clay
  • Soil
  • Chalk

These materials don’t carry a risk to the environment or the ground water and can be recycled.

It’s worth speaking to the grab lorry company to discuss the items you want disposed off before hiring a truck especially if you have additional materials you want to dispose which are not on this list, like tarmac, soil or turf.



  • Hiring a grab lorry is affordable
  • You can choose different sizes of grab lorry depending on how much material needs to be taken away
  • You don’t need a permit
  • They will remove most driveway and house renovation materials (hardcore), though you will need to check for turf and tarmac.
  • It’s an efficient and fast way to remove waste


Find driveway specialists in our Driveway Directory


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